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SPAWNews, March, 2001

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At the recent Board of Director's meeting it was decided to discontinue the monthly chapter meetings. Attendance has been down and we have not been able to find volunteers to rotate as chapter president. It seems everyone is so busy these days.

We don't want to give up the networking opportunities, so we will have events two or three times a year for our members. We welcome your suggestions and your help in putting together events such as seminars and workshops. Please let us know what your needs are and what kinds of programs you would like to participate in.

SPAWN will continue to take part in book festivals so that our author/publisher members can sell and display their books in the SPAWN booth(s). The next book festival coming up is in San Luis Obispo. It is the Central Coast Book & Author Festival being held on Saturday, June 9, 2001.

If you are interested in participating, please e-mail Mary Embree at and let her know. If there are enough people to pay for and work in a booth, SPAWN will reserve one. If you wish to reserve one for yourself or to share with another author, the details on this event will be available in the April issue of SPAWNews.

You may also get information on the festival by e-mail:; Web site:; or phone: 805/781-4652. –Mary Embree

Poetry Contest III Winners

Congratulations to the winners and Honorable Mentions and thanks to all of the wonderful poets who entered SPAWN Poetry Contest III. The winners are: First Place – “More Nobody Than Emily” by Mary Langer Thompson; Second Place – “That’s It” by Paul Forster; Third Place – “Chariots and Cheerios” by Mary Langer Thompson.

Honorable Mentions go to:

“Homesick at Summer Camp” by Carol A. O’Day; “Executive Love Song” by H. H. Gordon; “Whole Hearted” by Coni Kalinowski.

10 Tips for the Diehard Self-Publisher

By Patricia L. Fry

So, no one can talk you out of self-publishing your book?

You've read where others have succeeded. Look at Mark Twain and James Redfield of "Celestine Prophecy" fame, not to mention the many "experts" and ordinary people running around touting their own books.

Anyway, promoting your book will give you something to do when you retire.

Sure, there's a chance that you'll make it big as an authority on recycling aluminum pop tops at home, photographing dew drops or rebuilding an air conditioner. And if you don't, you'll probably have a lot of fun trying. Here are some tips that might help:

Before you start your bestseller:

1. Study the business. And self-publishing IS a business, not simply an outlet for your artistic urges. Talk to others who have self-published. Read books on self-publishing. See the book recommendations on the SPAWN site at

2. Study the market. Make sure your book is salable in today's market. If not, can you create a salable item from your topic? Is there a need for another book on toilet training your toddler, for example?

3. Decide what you're willing to do to promote your book. How much time do you have to spend on marketing? What is your comfort level when it comes to promotion and marketing? The more time and effort you put into promotion, the grander the results.

Before your book goes to the printer:

4. Do your homework: Get your International Standard Book Number (ISBN), fill out and return the "Advance Book Information" sheet from R. R. Bowker (this will assure your appearance in "Books In Print"), apply for a copyright, request Publishers Cataloging-in-Publication information from Quality Books and get a bar code. Choose a title, cover design, page formatting and so forth.

Three to four months before publication:

5. Get prepublication reviews. Send galley copies to those magazines that don't want to wait for the finished product. This includes, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Kirkus Review.

One month before publication:

6. Solicit prepublication sales. Send a flyer that includes an order form to everyone on your mailing list: friends, family, former neighbors, butcher, hair stylist, grammar school teachers, college roommates, coworkers and so forth. Offer a discount for orders placed before a certain date.

As soon as the book is published:

7. Fill prepublication orders. Send press releases to local newspapers. Set up book signings with local bookstores.

8. Contact distributors and wholesalers about carrying your book.

9. Send promotional copies to those who helped with the book: your editor, the person who wrote your foreword, colleagues who offered their expertise and so forth.

10. Send review copies to appropriate magazines, e-zine and newsletter editors. Follow up when necessary. And then launch into your pre-determined marketing plan.

—Patricia Fry is the author of 10 books including A Writer’s Guide to Magazine Articles for Book Promotion and Profit and Over 75 Good Ideas for Promoting Your Book (Matilija Press, 2000)

Member News

Deirdre Hanssen and Jodi F. Gottlieb will be appearing at Borders, 900 State Street, Santa Barbara on Thursday, March 15 at 7 PM. They will be signing their book TV: Sex, Lies & Promos (Ca$hing In On TV's Best Kept Secret), as well as sharing some of the secrets of having a creative, fun, and well paid career in television. SPAWN members are invited to attend, and their questions and comments are welcomed.

Writers’ Seminars

Join SPAWN founder Mary Embree and advisor Dan Poynter at the Pasadena City College Writers’ Forum on March 17, 2001, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Embree and Poynter will be among the distinguished instructors giving workshops to expand the horizons of professional and aspiring writers.

Workshop topics include “E-Books: The New Self-Publishing Model,” “Step-by-Step Guide to Writing A Book,” “From Journalism to Novel-Writing,” and more.

Advanced registration is $85; registration at the door is $95. To register by phone with a credit card, or to for more information, call (626) 585-7608.

Mary Embree will also be teaching a class at the Thousand Oaks campus of Learning Tree University on Saturday, March 31, 2001, from 9-12:30 p.m. Take a journey through the writing process as she gives you ways to get your book published. Fee is $59. Learning Tree features a variety of seminars for the experienced or aspiring writer. For information, call the Thousand Oaks campus at (805) 497-2292.


Read Online Marketing for Book and Publishing Web Sites: Step 3, Strategic Linking this month's Web marketing advice column by Virginia Lawrence.


SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

P.O. Box 2653

Ventura, CA 93002-2653


Telephone & Fax: 805-646-3045

Wendy Dager

Senior Editor, SPAWNews


Hal Ranzenhofer

Managing Editor, SPAWNews

Telephone: 805/984-3216


Virginia Lawrence

SPAWN Webmaster


Patricia Fry

Acting President


Ruth Hibbard



Advisory Council

Patricia Fry

Author, Publisher

Carol Doering

Dallas Glenn

Rosalie Heacock

Literary Agent

Andora Hodgin

Writer, Editor, Publicist

Irwin Zucker

Book Publicist

Jim Lane


Marcia Grad-Powers


Melvin Powers


Dan Poynter

Author, Publisher

Jean Wade


Board of Directors

Mary Embree

Author, Editor, Literary Consultant

Founder and President of SPAWN

Patricia Fry

Vice President

Virginia Lawrence, PhD

Writer, Editor, Webmaster

Secretary of SPAWN

Ruth Hibbard


Frances Halpern

Author, Columnist, Talk-show Host

Marsha Karpeles

Executive Director, Manuscript Libraries

Richard F.X. O'Connor

Author, Publisher, Editor, Consultant


To promote the literary arts and provide education, information, resources and a supportive networking environment for artists, writers, and other creative people interested in the publishing process.

Submission Guidelines

Members and Nonmembers: Please send your press releases, seminar information, and books for review to Wendy Dager, Senior Editor, SPAWNews, 3039 Country Lane, Simi Valley, CA 93063 or email

SPAWN membership dues are $45 per year; spouses, half-price.

Subscriptions to SPAWNews are $15 per year for nonmembers. Make your check payable to SPAWN and mail to P.O. Box 2653, Ventura, CA 93002-2653.

SPAWNews, Member Directory and Web site listings, and discounts for SPAWN events are included in membership.

SPAWN is a nonprofit corporation. Donations are tax deductible.

Small Publishers, Artists & Writers Network

P. O. Box 2653

Ventura, CA 93002-2653




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